Just before we all started stuffing our faces with turkey and all that other Thanksgiving goodness, publishing giant Condé Nast dropped a huge bombshell that it was closing Details Magazine. The current December/January issue will be the magazine's last. The company's newly minted CEO, Bob Sauerberg, is really shaking shit up. Most of Details' employees will take on positions at other publications in the Condé Nast family, and the website will slowly transition to gqstyle.com. This is amid a ton of other shakeups at the company's publications including the merging of Self and Glamour's advertising sales staffs.
While Details always played second fiddle to GQ and seemed like the millenial stepbrother to Esquire's more sophisticated father figure, the mag has been around since 1982 and still attracted top talent to its covers up until its last issue. Despite the seemingly limitless potential of the menswear industry, the publications, blogs, and all around coverage that support it seem to be in trouble.
1. A Huge Round Of Layoffs At GQ Just Took Place
GQ is the reigning champ of men's fashion magazines, but holding the number one spot can't even protect this publishing industry behemoth from downsizing. As a response to a decrease in advertising revenue and a bigger picture budget cut at parent company Condé Nast, 7 staffers were laid off back in November.
2. Four Pins Is Shutting Down Any Day Now
Complex Media's menswear blog Four Pins has been a favorite of sneakerheads and menswear aficionados looking for a side of snark with their fashion coverage. Apparently back in November, during a men's media bloodbath, Four Pins' closure was leaked in a New York Times' Critical Shopper column. Four Pins confirmed it in an expectedly vague and snarky way. I tweeted about my disbelief, and Four Pins liked the tweet which totally confirmed the sad news.
3. The Great Lads' Mag Massacre of 2015 Just Happened In The UK
FHM and Zoo, the UK answers to Maxim, have both gone out of business. While both titles focused more on titillation than fashion, they are both publications targeting men that have lost their audience and, subsequently, their ability to stay in business.
So what does all this mean? As a menswear blogger, you can bet your ass I'm a little concerned about this. Many outlets have cited an oversaturation in the menswear coverage arena. From long-standing publications like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times featuring regular men's fashion coverage to the easily accessible content across social media, blogs and magazines seem to be stuck in a weird no man's land. It doesn't mean that menswear coverage is dying. As the industry's sales continue to outpace all other industries, there's a lot of newsworthy content out there. But to stay relevant, a unique voice, exclusive content, and big, bright, new ideas are absolutely necessary. This isn't a signal of the end. This is the start of the revolution. This is a challenge to do something bigger and better.